At the beginning of each summer, I usually come up with a list of things I want to do with the kids and call it the Summer Fun Challenge. We then try do as many things as we can on the list to have a summer full of fun activities. We are doing it again this summer, but with a little twist. This past year I became friends with another mom around my age. I have recently found out that she did not have the opportunity to do a lot of the activities that we do every year. So this summer we will still be doing things that we normally do, but with someone who will be experiencing many things for the first time.
This week she asked if we could go to the local nature center. My daughter and I had not been there in a few years, since we went to the Global Village Experience, so of course we wanted to go. There are different parts to the nature center and this time we were going to go to the wildlife park. All of the animals in the wildlife park were rescued. They have been rehabilitated, but for various reasons can not be released back into nature. For many of the birds, like this gorgeous bald eagle, it is a wing injury where they have trouble flying.
When you first arrive at the nature center you are greeted by the Sharing Tree. This tree was an art project by a local artist that I know. It was entered into a large art contest several years ago. The first version of the tree caught fire, while it was being installed at the venue. It was rebuilt back to its former glory in time for the contest. It used to have a lot more leaves, but weather over the years have caused them to fall off. He also used to hold a kaleidoscope that kids could look in. I'm not sure where that is now Once the art contest was over, it found a permanent home at the nature center. There is something really cool happening with this tree if you looked close enough.
Can you see it? In several of the branches there are little holes where many birds have made their homes. It was quite beautiful to see all the little birds flying around and sitting on the branches.
This guy was quite a beauty. It was a large fluffy red fox named Copper. He was one of our favorites, and one of the easier pictures to take.
In the Butterfly Garden there was this wonderful butterfly bench. When you sat it in the wings would make you look like a butterfly. We tried to get my daughter to sit in it, but the best we could get was a picture of her stuff. She is still in the anti- picture phase.
While you could see the animals really well during our visit, with the shade and cages it was hard to get good postable pictures of them. We also stopped by the large tree house play land, and an inside building with more animals. It ended up being a nice, relaxing afternoon.
Do you have a nature center nearby? It is a great place to take the kids to learn and have fun at the same time.